Online Data Base Tracks Police Use Of Force

Online Data Base Tracks Police Use Of Force


Indio, CA

A new digital data base that tracks all use of police force statewide was implemented Thursday in an effort to increase police transparency.

Under a new state law that was passed in November, law enforcement agencies must now report these types of incidents to the California Department of Justice.

The California D.O.J. will then publish those reports online to allow anyone to download the information, put it in a spread sheet and analyze it.

The Indio Police Department is one of 12 California agencies that got a chance to test the system before it was launched.

"This is just one step in that transparency, in that legitimizing police in their community. Where people can look at the community and say ‘well how many times has there really been a serious injury when the police officer has used force or how many times has there been a serious injury on a police officer," said Sgt. Dan Marshall of the Indio Police Department. 

The implementation of Ursus comes after the FBI began making this type of data collection a priority as a result of several officer involved deaths across the country.

While the digital aspect of reporting police use-of-force is new, this type of data collection is not.

"It’s not anything that we hadn’t done before because we’ve always done it, we’ve just done it in a paper format and now we can do those specific types of use of force, now we’re going to them online," said Marshall.

California’s law enforcement agencies will report their use-of-force data to the state’s department of justice beginning in January and the information will be made available to the public in the spring.